Najib's public campaign coordinator has quit: Report

Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing (left) had been tasked with running a political campaign for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak against fierce critic and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, according to The Malaysian Insider.
Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing (above) had been tasked with running a political campaign for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak against fierce critic and former premier Mahathir Mohamad, according to The Malaysian Insider.PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's public campaign coordinator, Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, resigned from the position earlier this month, sources told The Malaysian Insider.

The 69-year-old advertising man, also a popular educationist, was appointed on May 22 amid the brewing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the news website reported yesterday.

Troubles plaguing 1MDB have been a rallying point for critics such as former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to call for Datuk Seri Najib's resignation.

Chief among the allegations was that US$700 million (S$961 million) linked to the debt-stricken state investor was deposited into Mr Najib's personal accounts.

Mr Lim, who had run Barisan Nasional's election campaigns for almost four decades, joined the Prime Minister's group of official advisers and was tasked with running a political campaign for Mr Najib against Tun Dr Mahathir, The Malaysian Insider said.

He had reportedly drawn up plans for Mr Najib to go on a nationwide tour to listen to the people's complaints and win their support.

Mr Lim, founder of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, had said his appointment was "nothing special", adding that he had worked for the Malaysian government since 1974 on the New Economic Policy.

However, his appointment has angered netizens, who questioned his integrity in helping a leader mired in financial scandals.

Many said that, despite his impressive credentials, Mr Lim would not be able to help Mr Najib shore up his popularity as the allegations against the Prime Minister were too serious. Fees paid to Mr Lim were "a waste of public funds", they added.

Mr Lim was also criticised by Dr Mahathir for asking him to stop attacking Mr Najib over the 1MDB scandal. Dr Mahathir, who referred to Mr Lim as a "friend" in his blog, accused him of "working hard" to cover up the wrongdoings in 1MDB, The Malaysian Insider reported.

Dr Mahathir also noted that this "friend" had in the past expressed concern about the Najib administration's policies and performance, and had asked Dr Mahathir to do something about it.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2015, with the headline 'Najib's public campaign coordinator has quit: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe